Nigerians: Time To Understand Our Religious Differences

By Adamu Yalwa Gabi

Whenever I wake up every blissful day and thought of the dwindling interfaith relationship between diverse ethno religious citizens of my country, I become confused provoked and even wonder why.

Yes, the situation requires urgent attention from the relevant authorities especially parent who are the first agent of socialization to their children to prevent it from further getting out of hand.

Government, religious bodies through the clerics or traditional institutions should not be left alone with the issue of addressing moral decadence and interfaith hatred in the minds of the young generation been one of the major factors responsible for causing mayhem in some parts of the country.

No doubt, this would strengthen the bond of relationship between Muslim and Christian faithful whom without each no any follower could run his life smoothly due to the divine prolonged symbiotic relationship that exist in-between.

To augment the objectivity of my idea, As a person  that was privileged to live in different parts of the country and with diverse ethno religious background, I always cite example on how my story yielded a positive coloration among the Christian faith in the course of our relationship.

As far back in early 90’s during our stay in Jimeta, capital of former Gongola state, we lived with some neighbors from Michika LGA, to the extent that it reach a level of becoming closed family friends without any ethnic or religious segregation. Infact when ever my Mum travelled for visitation while school was ongoing, I became a full member of their house and once it was time for any spiritual obligation (prayer) or Islamiya, they prompted me by ensuring I observed the said prayer on time and like wise moving to the Islamiya without delay.

Perhaps, it may interest readers to know that the same God who created Adam and Eve as the first creatures on earth is same that created Muhammad and Moses to live together as brothers’ keepers not to harm themselves.

That equally reminds me of the university life during our project in the final year, where we were assigned to do it as a group work with Nuhu David Gajere of blessed Memory from Gombe State as the team leader who died after graduation. While I was living in the Campus, Gajere was off Campus few meters away from the hostel.

On a particular day, when I visited him to discuss on the project topic as usual on getting to his room, he was in the bathroom and as soon as he comes out he frankly told me to go back immediately because there was tension in the area that was dominated by Christian community.

Shortly after I left, intra religious crisis erupted between Christians and Muslims leading to the loss of lives and properties thereby shutting down the university for a long period to avoid the incident escalating into the Campus. For that I always remember the kind of brotherhood Gajere as a Christian had exhibited to me which if not because of him I would have fallen as a victim of circumstance.

With these, I think gone were the days when religious bigotry is used by some fanatics as a weapon to poison the minds of the upcoming generation as you hardly track a short distance either in Kano from the North, Onitsa from the East or Lagos from the West without coming across some one practicing a different religion from others to testify that Nigeria is for all.

On a final note, It would not be out of way for Government and other Stake holders in the Education Sector to chart a way of introducing a subject to strengthen interfaith relationship among the two religions so as to nurture pupils of primary schools that of secondary and tertiary levels to know the reason behind our existence is to archive a Unity of purpose not to be killing ourselves in the name of protecting political or socioeconomic interest.

As for me, I never hold any grudge nor keep malice or even attempt to harm anybody as Islam do not encourage disunity among people.

Nigeria is for all, we should not allow any sort of ethnicity or selfish interest to over shadow the quest for moving the country to a greater height which could only be achieved through peaceful coexistence by respecting our differences  and core values as the will of Almighty God.

Gabi, a Journalist and a season writer wrote via adamumgabi@gmail.com 08033990884

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